Witch by Fayt-Storm

A witch is someone attuned to nature, and the gentle flow of life, the passing seasons, and the phases of the moon. She senses the constant flow of energy and seeks to understand and shape it. She sees life and nature as sacred and beautiful, and so she strives to heal and nourish both. A witch is ruled by her heart and intuition, she holds nothing back as she faces the world with courage and a lust for adventure and life. She discovers the mysteries, the magick that lies within her, reclaiming them for women everywhere. She is the embodiment of love and compassion, always giving of herself to those in need. She will be aggressive in defending those who can not defend themselves, the oppressed and abused. Seeking justice for all the wrongs. A witch is independent and free, sexually liberated, and untamed. A witch is one who is inlove with the Goddess as well as herself.

witch…
I embrace the word witch wearing it proudly for all the world to see. It is a sacred word between those who seek wisdom from nature, the healers, the servants of the cummunity, and the priestesses of the Goddess. Witches were nonconformists, courageous, and intelligent women. They were sexually liberated and took charge of their own bodies as midwives, the first birth control practitioners and abortionists, they bowed to no man!! And for this they were labeled evil, shunned, persecuted, tortured, and murdered. These women did not call themselves witches. They were not evil and had no pact with any devil. They just chose to be free, to express themselves differently, and refused to let anyone tell them how they should act.

I embrace this word witch, reclaiming it and changing its image. I accept it as a sacred title, as an independent free woman on her own path. In doing so I strive to give back to my sisters this beauty, this power, this acknowdleged freedom. As I claim this sacred word, I show the world I am a woman, free and beautiful, joyous and untamed, a Goddess and a witch!

Witchcraft…
or more to the point magick.

I believe magick is life. It is the flow. Every breath I take, every heart beat, its all magick. Spells and charms, formal rituals, and prayers, all of this is just a way to bind yourself to this flow and shape it. It may seem all supernatural and scary but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is as natural as the gentle breeze. I do not hex anyone or send curses turning people into frogs. I can not get a million dollars or somehow control someone to do my bidding. If witches could, many many more people would be witches. It is about honoring the sacred. And taking control and responsibility for your own life.

It is a sacred craft, mixing new expierences with old traditions, ancient rites (well the best we can piece together of them) with, folk lore and myth. Its centered around nature, and the 4 elements- earth, air, fire, water combined with the 5th spirit (the divine, you, fae, etc..) No two witches practice the same way. You can be any religion and still be a witch, as it is a craft, a practice.

(No corrections made by me to spelling or otherwise)

Found on deviantart.com at this link http://www.deviantart.com/art/Witch-21681594

Pagans with Disabilities Face Unseen Challenges

TWH –In the collective Pagan communities, it is not at all unusual to encounter people with disabilities. There are no studies to suggest that there are more Pagans and polytheists with disabilities than in any other cultural and religious subgroup. However, the fact that such people are so visible might indicate a level of accommodation and acceptance that may not be present within other communities Whether or not being under the Pagan umbrella provides more support, many people with disabilities still yearn for better accessibility on festival grounds and in ritual spaces, and can still often feel isolated from their community of choice when unable to fully participate. – See more at:http://wildhunt.org/2016/05/pagans-with-disabilities-face-unseen-challenges.html#sthash.0NGHZEtS.dpuf

For more of this informative article please click on this link: http://wildhunt.org/2016/05/pagans-with-disabilities-face-unseen-challenges.html

The Headdresses of Star Carr

Claire Dixon —  May 26, 2016

NORTH YORKSHIRE, England — Researchers have completed the first scientific study on the techniques used to create the oldest shamanic or ritual headdresses discovered in Europe. The red deer skull and antler artefacts were unearthed at Star Carr in North Yorkshire, England, and date to some 11,000 years ago in the Mesolithic era. When the site was discovered in the 1940s it yielded the largest haul of ritual items from the period ever found in Europe, and it is considered the most important area for Mesolithic study on the continent. – See more at: http://wildhunt.org/2016/05/the-headdresses-of-star-carr.html#sthash.LTKiEbEm.dpuf

Now, 24 headdresses have been analysed under a five-year project led by the University of York. Twenty-one of them were from the original trove and three were discovered by the team during fresh excavations at Star Carr. The University of York’s Professor Nicky Milner, co-director of excavations at Star Carr, said, “These headdresses are incredibly rare finds in the archaeological record.”  She added, “This is the only site in Britain where they are found and there are only a few other headdresses known from Germany. This work into how they might have been made has given us an important glimpse into what life was like 11,000 years ago.” – See more at: http://wildhunt.org/2016/05/the-headdresses-of-star-carr.html#sthash.LTKiEbEm.dpuf

To read the rest of this article please click on this link: http://wildhunt.org/2016/05/the-headdresses-of-star-carr.html

Folktales

Ever been interested in some of the folktales from around the world? These “folktales” at times hold clues to our Pagan past and we cam learn from them. This article and website is just one of many you can read them on. I have learned some very interesting things in the reading of folktales that have helped me to look at many of my beliefs in a different way or with more knowledge about them. If you find a particular culture you would like me to find out more about if I can and post my findings please leave me a message in the comments or email me at ladybeltane@aol.com

Many attempts have been made to define, classify, and describe the folktale. None of these attempts did a completely satisfactory job; the folktale is just too inclusive for such division. The term covers almost any traditional narrative, either oral or literary. Its diverse forms include legends and traditions, fairy tales, animal tales, fables, and of course myths.
Read on »

Articles:

FOr the “Table of Contents” in this article to read folktales please click on this link: http://www.pantheon.org/areas/folklore/folktales/

A Thought for Today

We as Pagans and Witches have a hard time because of stereotyping and society not really having the knowledge to accept us for who we are. To help counter-act this I stepped out of the “broom closet” many years ago. Sometimes this is a good thing and I can enlighten others on what a witch/pagan really is. Other times I get called names and told I will be rotting in hell. Well since I do not believe in a hell as the Christians and many other mainstream religions do this doesn’t really bother me. You know those people that coming knocking on your door or stand at railroad stations and other places to tell you the “Good News” complete pamphlets? When they come to my door or approach me somewhere I tell them, with my pentacle in full view,  “I will happily listen to you about your beliefs if when you are through you listen to me about mine.” Most of the time I get a strange look but every once in a while someone will actually listen to me. Some of those that have listened have walked away from our encounter looking at witchcraft and/or paganism in a brand new way.

While I realize not everyone is comfortable as I am with openly being pagan and every individual needs to come out of the “broom closet” when they feel ready to. I ask you this one question, “Have you truly admitted to yourself that you follow a nature based religion and have a belief in the duality of Gods and Goddesses?” If you have done this you have made your first small step out of hiding in the “broom closet” and becoming an ambassador for others to make that step and to enlighten people not knowledgeable about The Craft and Paganism.

Blessed be dear ones.

 

Mars

The Cosmic Cookie Trail strikes again!  I was led to the following blog post today and you can read it at the following link.  My hands have been almost “humming” with energy today and I figured there had to be something going on with the planets!

http://www.magicalrecipesonline.com/2016/05/mars-close-approach-to-earth-may-30.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AncientMagicalRecipesOnlineNatureThroughSpellsAndHerbalMagicMagicSpellsHerbs+%28*+Ancient+Magical+Recipes+Online+*+Nature+through+Spells+and+Herbal+Magic+*+Magic+Spells+Herbs%29

I think I will do the little mini ritual it mentions at the end.  Will you join me at midnight?

©05252016 Wolf Woman Ways

Witchcraft Chapter nine – Witchcraft Today (Plus a. Glossary b. Bibliography for series of articles)

by Ilil Arbel, Ph.D.

A thousand years ago or today, if you asked a witch why she practices the Craft, her answer would be universal: It accomplishes results. However, the many “workbooks” and “spell books” on the market won’t necessarily teach you how to become a witch or to perform magic. Pursuing witchcraft without a coven, without ceremonies, without initiation does not generally work. At best, it will probably be self delusion; at worst, it can do some psychological damage. There are some witches who work alone. There are even courses one can take in big cities such as New York or San Francisco. But Witchcraft is more than just a few spells – it’s a religion. Without the tenets, the commitment, the depth of feeling for the earth – it’s just an imitation.

There is no doubt that magic still exists, and that it can be powerful. But how do you define it in a world such as ours? If all the nonsense is dismissed, it means using some abnormal ability or a talent. The witch creates a change in circumstances – a change that would not have occurred naturally. Some people have psychic powers, just as others have a natural talent for painting or music. When trained, the powers are enhanced. When used in the correct manner, they are quite successful. Naturally, these powers can be used either for good or for evil. Those who use it for good tend to become witches. Those who use it to do harm call themselves Satanists or Devil Worshipers. There is always a choice.

As seen in previous chapters, all isolated societies have ceremonies, initiations, and some form of magic. Witches, the descendants of such people, have not lost the knowledge. Other organized religions tend to ignore the magical connection, with one exception – prayer. All religions claim that prayer accomplishes tangible results. What is prayer but an attempt to convince the supernatural to do what we want?

Most witches believe that the power is found inside their own bodies. This is the reason why some witches prefer to work in the nude – they feel that the clothes block the power’s release. Other witches work partially nude or dressed in loose robes. In today’s society, with its relaxed attitude toward the human body, nudity is not a problem. After all, the witches do not engage in any immoral activity during the ceremonies. But during the Middle Ages, or even the 18th century, people sometimes didn’t take off their clothing even to bathe. They wore special “bathing robes” for the purpose, so that they would not have to look at their own nude bodies! It is easy to imagine the uproar when the nudity of the witches was discovered. Naturally the general population assumed the witches engaged in orgies.

To read the rest of this informative article please click on the following link: http://www.pantheon.org/areas/featured/witchcraft/chapter-9.html

Witch Bag

I have recently embarked on making my Witch bag and I wanted to share with you the knowledge I have acquired and continue to gather as I walk my path of magick.
What is a witch bag?
Throughout time many shamanic traditions use spirit bags. The traveling healer uses the bag as a tool kit and a talisman for their spirit allies.
The Celtic Shamans call their spirit pouch a crane bag. Its origins lie with the sea God Mannanan Mac Lir where its contents would change with the changing tides. The witch’s bag should never be the same, never static, move with the ebbs and flows of life.
In Strega traditions they are referred to as the nanta bag where traditional tools and symbols of the 4 elements are housed.
Native Americans hold the most well know image of the spirit bag. This is referred to as the medicine bag where it holds the power of the spirit. As far back as the Aztec and Inca, shaman-priests would carry mesa bags that contained special stones found in sacred sites that were blessed by the shaman’s teacher.
Shamans in Mongolia thought of their medicine bag as a special ongon or fetish charm that housed a spirit, one that would help them in their healing rituals.
A witch bag therefore is a reflection of your path. It is a mirror of yourself. How do you see you?
To me a witch is a healer, one of the self, the earth and others. S/he walks the path of the shaman with a deep sense of the spirit world and a psychic ability where one learns to partner with spirits and Gods for assistance in the process of healing. Your witch bag can come in all shapes and sizes, more traditional ones are rustic, usually of natural material like the animal skin and other parts of your totem animal. Mine is of deer skin, antler and badger fur.
The purpose of the bag is to carry your magick where it is needed. For a healing, for a ritual, for protection, for your self-development, for the earth. A special stick, a stone, herbs, seeds, crystals shells etc. Just remember with everything that you acquire to ask spirit for permission and to give something back in return. It is the law of the land to honour the spirits that are gifting you with these blessed items. This also includes the bag itself. Make a special ceremony whenever you acquire an item for the spirit bag, much like your alter tools.
Each item represents your healing power that connects you to your spirit nature or guide. As you change and grow through your spiritual journey so will your bag. It becomes a reflection of you, a scrap book of your journey and connection to the nature spirits, a vessel that assists you to communicate with the Gods.
Some items come to you through miraculous circumstances, others are acquired by a less eventful manner, but each and every item that is consecrated and placed in that bag is there for a reason. It may not make sense at the time, but if you choose to keep it in there then there must be a reason for it. Your items in your witch bag will become more obvious to you as you grow spiritually.
I started by choosing an object one each for the God and Goddess and now am allow things to come to me as they will. The most exciting thing about this is that every time I look in my spirit bag it remind me at what stage I am in my spiritual journey. I feel empowered and protected carrying it. At this stage I am currently working with the spiritual essences, so a small bottle of rosemary essential oil in my witch bag reminds me of that.
I hope that you to get as much satisfaction as I have in developing your own witches bag.
Just below is a great little link from a light hearted hedge witch about the spirit bag and also about protection.

http://walkingthehedge.net/hedge/tag/witchcraft/

Many blessings to all
Hypatia.